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The AMG International Blog
 2016
August 26

Love's Covering and Protection

Love "beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things." (1 Cor. 13:7)

Paul speaks here of the comprehensiveness of love, which he personifies as looking at life in its total perspective. That is the meaning of the adjective panta, "all," which occurs in connection with each verb. Actually, the word "things" does not appear in the Greek, but is understood. Love "beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things." This translation of the verse is based on the traditional assumption that the word panta,"all," is an adjective used as a noun, but there is also good authority for taking it as an adverb, in which case it would refer to the manner in which love bears, believes, hopes, and endures, rather than to what it bears, hopes, and so on.

Taking the traditional meaning first, that panta means "all things," we understand first of all that love looks upon and evaluates life as a whole. It has the ability to collect the various parts of the puzzle and fit them together. It does not separate the days into rainy ones and sunny ones, or life's experiences into pains and joys. It sees them all as part of the whole.

Yet love also sees and evaluates the individual facets of life. The adjective-noun panta can also refer to the individual components within the whole. Look at experiences in relation to God's whole plan and then examine them for their individual value.

"Beareth, believeth, hopeth, endureth"—Paul groups four positive characteristics of love here in verse 7. It will be helpful to examine these verbs individually in the Greek text. The first, stegei, translated "beareth," may be understood in two senses:  "to bear or support," and "to cover over or provide a roof." The context here would give more weight to the second meaning. Even in Modern Greek, the noun stegee means "a roof" and the verb stegazoo "to provide a roof." Love puts up a shelter to shield or cover others.

Quote about Love from Spiros Zodhiates

Shelter for Every Situation

If the word panta, "all," is taken adverbially, meaning "wholly, in all points," it conveys the manner in which this divine love manifests itself through the individual. A Christian's love provides a shelter for every situation in which it find others. Its shelter is comprehensive, not selective. It completely protects others. Is that the quality of your love? Is your roof big enough to take in all kinds of sinners, with the full hope of their redemption?

There is no reason to believe that the word "all" refers only to the faults of others. It may be taken to include their virtues also. It is often harder for love to give shelter within itself to the successes and goodness of others than to their faults. To bear all things refers not merely to the patience of love but to its magnanimity, its readiness to believe that others are as good as or superior to one's self. Love knows how to praise others for their good qualities. Love builds a house with a roof over it large enough to take in the whole stature of our fellow men.

A father who attended church with his little boy found fault with everything in the service. As he walked home, he criticized the minister, the sermon, the choir, and everything in general. The boy, who had noticed what his father put in the offering plate, said, "Well, Dad, what can you expect for a dime?" Sometimes we build very low roofed dwellings indeed, because we lack sufficient charity to make room for the virtues we might discover in the lives of others.

Building, Not Destroying

Love is not irrationally fearful that others will be puffed up by its recognition of their goodness. Love does not flatter but does shelter the good qualities of others in order to protect them. Love's primary work is to build up and to tear down. Love maintains a wrecking crew only that it may get the necessary preliminaries out of the way so that the building crew can go to work. It tears down only for the purpose of leveling the ground in order that it may build. Love does what Christ did: He recognized life for what it is that He might redemptively lift it by transforming it.

Paul is not suggesting here that love is to give shelter to the wrong-doer and make excuses for him. That is not love's task. He wants to show us that love is not afraid to consider life frankly—"all things," both its good and bad aspects. It does not hesitate to stoop under the whole weight of life, all pity and wrong, all folly and pain. These are inevitable in any life. Love cannot be crushed beneath the burden. It has vast powers of self-recovery, boundless spiritual elasticity. In the words of Solomon, which many believe to refer to married love, "Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it" (Song of Sol. 8:7). If the love in marriage is this strong, how much stronger is God's love.

The word stegei, "beareth or covereth," has both a quiescent and a more aggressive meaning. Love is capable of wonderful patient submission. In this sense, "beareth" would mean putting up with annoyances and burdens in silence. Its acceptance of life is quiet and all-encompassing. No matter how great the burden of responsibility or of difficulty, God's love in us (agapee) accepts it without protest. It faces the slights and misunderstandings, the resentments and malevolent oppositions, without comment. It is strong in its silences. Love allows nothing external to have power over it.

Love even puts a cover over its temper, for it has a righteous one, you know. That is part and parcel of its human side, as well as its original divine aspect. Have you never heard that the best way to put out a fire is to cover it? The Chinese tell a story based on three or four thousand years of civilization. Two coolies were arguing heatedly in a crowd. A stranger expressed surprise that they did not come to blows. His Chinese friend explained, "The man who strikes first admits that his ideas have given out."

Love Is Not Silent

But love is not merely passive, as clay in the hands of a potter. Its recognition of the evils of life does not mean that it always acquiesces in them. As long as there is an unlovely matter in life, in particular in the moral realm, there will be a protest in the heart of love. It makes no difference whether this exists in our own life or in the life of another.

Love is produced by the Holy Spirit's brooding over all the potentiality of good in life that is now without form and void in outward appearance. By faith, God's love, which works through us, produces the grace and peace that go beyond the ill manners and ungoverned passions and unrestrained wrongs of the present world, and will finally in God's plan produce a completed world that is definitely yet to be in the future, namely the new heavens and the new earth.

The Master Builder's Work

Agostino d' Antonio, a sculptor of Florence, wrought diligently but unsuccessfully on a large piece of marble. "I can do nothing with it," he finally said. Other sculptors tried their hand at it, but they, too, gave up the task. The stone lay on a rubbish heap for forty years. Out strolling one day, Michelangelo saw the stone and its latent possibilities and ordered it brought to his studio. He began to work upon it, and ultimately his vision and work were crowned with success. From that seemingly worthless stone he carved one of the world's masterpieces of sculpture—David!

The secret lay in Michelangelo, not in the stone. Look at life—your own with all its disappointments, and the lives of others with all that God has accomplished in them or all that He is able to accomplish—and expect Him to produce a masterpiece. Love settles for nothing less than God's best from the worst, because it knows the quality of the work of the Master Builder, Christ. His roof is the best. In Christian love, build over others that roof that you would like Him to maintain over you.

What are some of the practical ways in which we can shelter others under our love? First we shelter them with our prayers, bearing them up before God, asking Him to correct whatever is not in accord with His will and to strengthen whatever is good in them. Then we seek to encourage them to be the best that God intended for them—not giving up on them in disgust or rooting them out from our hearts when they disappoint us, but patiently holding on to God for their deliverance and ultimate perfecting. And when they grow strong in the faith and no longer need us, or when they outdistance us in spiritual and temporal achievements, our love will still shelter them as a protective shield against any evil that might befall them. This is what God intends His love to do through His children in all their human relationships.

Spiros Zodhiates (1922-2009) served as president of AMG International, Inc. for over 40 years, was the founding editor of Pulpit Helps Magazine (DISCIPLE’s predecessor), and authored dozens of exegetical books.

© 8/4/2016 Disciple Magazine, published by AMG International. www.disciplemagazine.com. Used by permission.

 

~ Dr. Spiros Zodhiates
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Come To Know God...

God didn't intend for you to fight life's battles alone. Would you like to know how you can have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?

What the Bible says about God:

It is because of God's love that He desires a relationship with mankind whom He has created. Yet because of His holiness, He can have no dealings with sin. That presents a problem...

What the Bible says about Sin:

Each of us has committed acts that are sinful. But more than that, because we are born with a sinful nature, we fall short of God's standard of perfection.

Because God is holy, He cannot look upon sin or accept sinful man into His presence. Yet because of His great love, He has made provision for man's sin...

What the Bible says about Jesus:

Jesus is not just a good man, moral teacher or historical figure. He is God in a human body.

The death of Christ demonstrated the love of God and satisfied the demands of His holiness. His perfect sacrifice paid for our sins and took them away.

We cannot come to God on our own terms. God, who created us, has provided a way for us to know Him, but that way is only through His Son, Jesus.

What the Bible says about Mankind:

It is not enough to believe intellectually that there is a God, or that Jesus existed as an historical figure, nor is it enough to have an emotional experience. Each of us must respond to God through an act of the will.

Salvation is turning from our old way of living, independent from God, and turning to Him and the new life He offers.

"...if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation."  - Romans 10:9-10

Salvation is a result not just of intellectually believing or of having an emotional experience. Salvation comes when we are ready to surrender our wills to Him. It is not just the words we say, but the attitude of our hearts. If you would like to receive Christ, this is the attitude He is looking for...

"Lord Jesus, I need you. I recognize that I am a sinner and I need your forgiveness. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Come into my life as my Savior and Lord. Take control of the throne of my life and make me the kind of person you want me to be."

If you have given your life to Christ, He wants you to grow in that relationship. Here are some things that will help...

  1. Begin reading the Bible daily.
  2. Talk to God in prayer expressing your heart to Him.
  3. Get involved in a church where you can study the Bible, learn more about Christ, and fellowship with other believers.
  4. Share with others about Christ and what He has done for you.
  5. Obey what you see in God's Word and trust Him in every detail of your life.
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Child Sponsorship FAQ's

List below are the most common questions that we receive concerning child sponsorships. As always, if you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us directly at 800.251.7206, ext. 421.

What is involved in sponsoring a child?

Child sponsorship includes prayer and financial support for your child. It costs $32 dollars a month, or $384 a year to sponsor a child. But equally important is the prayer support that your child receives from you. This is the advantage of pairing children with sponsors - the individual attention.

Can I write letters to my child?

Yes! We encourage you to write to your child . The letters that you write will help build a valuable relationship that your child will never forget. Usually twice a year your child will write to you.

How can I write to my child?

You can write a traditional letter and mail it to AMG, or you can create an account online and write to your child, as well as your child’s development center, from your account page. (Please note that all communications to and from donors come to the home office for processing. No direct communication is permitted for the security and safety of children, donors, and field staff.)

Can I send extra gifts at Christmas and birthdays for my child?

Yes! We receive gifts for sponsored children around the world – from toys to books to clothing. You may not know, however, that once shipping, duties, and other expenses are included, even something as small as a box of crayons and a coloring book could cost over $50 to send to the field!

If you plan to give a special gift:

  1. Consider a financial gift. This allows the staff from the child development center to first consult the child and their family about needs or wants and to purchase a gift locally. Please feel free to express any preferences you have regarding the item or items to be purchased. Giving in this way is a double blessing – getting your gift into your child’s hands faster and saving valuable ministry resources! Remember, you can give online and express your wishes right from your online account.
  2. Before sending a physical gift, please contact AMG office staff first to determine the feasibility and cost of delivery. Gifts can be transferred to some countries more easily than others. Thank you!
How much is appropriate to give for special gifts, Christmas and birthdays for my child?

We recommend a minimum of $15 but a good average is $25 to $50 by most sponsors. You may go up to $100 if you so desire. We request that you do not exceed the $100 amount on any single special occasion. If you have a unique situation you may contact the sponsorship department at 1-800-251-7206 and a staff member will discuss this with you.

Can I improve my child's living conditions?

AMG's mission is to advance the gospel with compassion. Impacting a child and a family with the gospel includes an awareness of the children's needs and a purposeful participation in helping those in our sponsorship program. Our child development centers are designed to impact a child mentally, physically, emotionally and most of all spiritually. There is no end to the needs and difficult circumstances every child brings to AMG and this is why our sponsorship program helps each child with nutrition, medical care, personal development, Bible study and spiritual training. AMG does not facilitate the building of homes or major lifestyle changes for the families connected to AMG. This type of involvement from outside sources very often creates serious problems for the family and the local community the child and family live within. Please see FAQ "How Much is Appropriate To Give For Special Gifts".

How will my sponsorship benefit the child I'm sponsoring?

Children under the care of AMG receive a hot, nutritious meal and a snack each day along with access to medical care if needed. Children are provided educational opportunities and are tutored if necessary. Childcare center staff members encourage children to take advantage of every opportunity they have to learn new skills. Children are given new outfits of clothing and shoes once or twice a year. Each child is given a clear presentation of the gospel, with the hope that they will become a Christian, and reach his or her world for Christ.

How much of my sponsorship goes to my child?

AMG has always approached the care of children with a holistic emphasis...daily food, education, access to medical care and most of all, the gospel. Every child receives more benefits and access to services than any one sponsorship could provide therefore all sponsorship funds are pooled for the maximum benefit of your child and all of those attending their center. Your sponsorship dollars are combined with your fellow sponsors so that every child receives uninterrupted care regardless of the possibility that a sponsor misses sending their sponsorship donation on any given month. Your faithfulness and that of every sponsor giving regularly will ensure the maximum benefits for your child as well as all the children in the Child Sponsorship program.

What happens if I need to discontinue my sponsorship?

We understand that circumstances change and sometimes it may be necessary for you to give up your sponsorship. In this situation, notify us and we will begin looking for another sponsor for your child.

How long should my sponsorship last?

While we ask that your sponsorship commitment last at least one year, the length of time during which you sponsor a child is up to you. Sponsorship programs help AMG provide food, clothing, medical care and education to children until they reach age 18 or complete their final year of education and leave the sponsorship program. Most of the children AMG serves rely on these programs for their wellbeing. When a sponsorship lapses or is discontinued, AMG will seek out another sponsor rather than discontinue or interrupt the care for that child. Sponsors wishing to extend their relationship with a sponsored child beyond age 18 may do so if the child continues their affiliation with AMG either as a Bible student or National Worker.

Will there ever be a chance that I could meet the child that I sponsor?

AMG sponsors short-term mission trips around the world. Frequently, we will go to countries where childcare centers are located. When we go to the country where your child lives, we encourage you to participate in that trip. Short-term trips are a great way to share the love of Jesus and meet the child that you have chosen to sponsor.

What countries can I choose a child from?

Currently AMG is providing childcare to children in Bangladesh, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Peru, Philippines, Thailand and Uganda.

How do I sponsor a child?

If you are ready to sponsor a child now, write, call, or click here to select a particular child. Or, if you would like us to assign you the child in greatest need, simply write to or call us. As soon as we receive your first donation of $32, we will send you a photograph and biographical and family information about your child. If you are interested, but have more questions, click here to email your questions or call 1-800-251-7206, ext. 421 and we will be glad to assist you.

National Worker Sponsorship FAQ's

Listed below are the most common questions that we receive concerning national worker sponsorships. As always, if you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us directly at 800.251.7206.

What is involved in sponsoring a national worker?

National worker sponsorship includes prayer and financial support for your national worker. It costs $50 dollars a month, or $600 a year to sponsor a national worker. But equally important is the prayer support that your national worker receives from you. This unique partnership is an important part of a national worker's ministry.

Can I write letters to my national worker?

Yes! We encourage you to write to your national worker. The letters that you write will help build a valuable relationship as you come alongside your national worker to encourage them in their ministry. Your national worker partner will send personal letters and ministry updates to you at least twice a year.

Can I send extra gifts at Christmas and birthdays for my national worker?

Yes. We do ask that you send money and not gifts-in-kind because of the difficulties involved in shipping packages. The money that is sent for the national worker will go 100% to them. Other gifts that are designated for family birthdays, specific ministry projects or personal needs are welcome as well.

How will my sponsorship benefit the national worker I'm sponsoring?

Your support is intended to supplement the income and ministry needs of your sponsored national worker. For some national workers, sponsorship funds enable them to acquire basic necessities like food staples and clothing or to pay their children's school fees. Other national workers may be amply provided for personally, but welcome the sponsorship assistance to print materials, equip facilities, hold special ministry events, or purchase supplies. In either case, your support is a significant contribution to the effectiveness of a national worker's ministry.

Will I be the only sponsor for the national worker that I'm helping?

Not necessarily. Many factors help define a meaningful support level for each national worker, including the cost of living for the country in which they serve; therefore some national workers are assigned more sponsorships than others. We work closely with our field directors to assess the needs of each national worker.

Can I give a one-time gift to a national worker?

We welcome regular sponsorship as well as one-time ministry gifts for all of the national workers who partner with AMG. Each and every gift is a valuable contribution to the effectiveness of a national worker's ministry.

What happens if I need to discontinue my sponsorship?

We understand that circumstances change and sometimes it may be necessary for you to give up your sponsorship. In this situation, please notify us and we will begin looking for another sponsor for your national worker.

How long should my sponsorship last?

While we ask that your sponsorship commitment last at least one year, the length of time during which you sponsor a national worker is up to you. Sponsorship programs help AMG provide support to national workers until their ministry reaches a self-sustaining point or the national worker has completed their term of service. Many of our sponsors have enjoyed lengthy, fruitful relationships with the same national worker; others have had the opportunity to assist multiple successors.

Will there ever be a chance that I could meet the national worker that I sponsor?

AMG sponsors short-term mission trips around the world. Frequently, we will go to places where sponsored national workers are serving. When we go to the country where your national worker partner serves, we encourage you to participate in that trip. Short-term trips are a great way to share the love of Jesus and minister alongside the national worker you have chosen to sponsor in a whole new way.

What countries can I choose a national worker from?

Currently AMG partners with national workers in 26 countries. You can click here to view the majority of national workers that are available for sponsorship. However, for security reasons, not all of our national workers are individually represented on the site. If you do not see a particular country or ministry represented in which you are interested, please feel free to contact us at 800.251.7206 for further information.

How do I sponsor a national worker?

If you are ready to sponsor a national worker now, please write, call, or click here to select a particular national worker. Or, if you would like us to assign you the national worker in greatest need, simply contact us. As soon as we receive your first donation of $50, we will send you the photograph, biographical information, and ministry testimony of your national worker. If you are interested, but have more questions, click here to email your questions or call 800.251.7206 and ask for Meredith.

Mission Adventure FAQ's


How old do I have to be to go on a Mission Adventure?

There are no age requirements for MA team members. All applicants are subject to approval by the MA Team Leader. Minors (under 18 years old) who apply to participate must have a guardian that is at least 21 years old who will also be a participant on the trip. The type of ministry of certain trips on the field may preclude a minor's participation on the trip. Families are encouraged to participate on MA Teams.

Do you provide training to help prepare me for the trip?

Yes. Appropriate training is provided covering areas of cultural training, support development, spiritual preparation, etc.

What immunizations do I need to have before going on a Mission Adventure?

Immunizations vary from field to field. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) has recommendations for all fields. The basic immunizations recommended are Tetanus and Hepatitis A. However, some fields require additional immunizations and medications.

Will AMG help me to raise my funds to pay for the Mission Adventure?

AMG will provide assistance in writing support letters and developing a Biblical understanding of support raising.

What does the trip cost pay for and do I need extra money on the trip?

The trip cost covers all related travel and in-country expenses (i.e. air transportation, housing, food, insurance, in-country travel, etc.) You would be responsible for transportation to and from the originating airport, meals in the airport, and any personal items you would purchase on the field (i.e. snacks, souvenirs, etc.).

When do I need to have my trip paid for and have all my documents sent in to AMG?

Typically a $100 deposit is due at the time of registration for the trip. One half of the balance of the trip is due 60 days prior to departure and the remaining balance is due 30 days prior to departure. All documents should be submitted 90 days prior to departure.

Can I give money to support a Mission Adventure?

Yes. Each Mission Adventure has its own designated page where you can give to support a team. To find a specific Mission Adventure, go to the Mission Adventure Trip Schedule Page and click on your trip. Then click the "Click Here to Support Trip" button to begin the payment process.

How do I know which trips are open to the general public?

If a trip is organized for a specific church, school, or other group, it is typically not "open" for registrations outside that group. These designations are reflected on the trip schedule. However, if you have a particular interest in joining one of these teams, you can contact us as some teams are open to additional team members.

How do I register for a trip?

First-time trip registrations begin with an Online Missions Profile. Log in or create a new account, then click "Account" to access your Online Missions Profile under the "Mission Adventures" heading. Once the six sections of your profile are completed, find the trip of your choice on the Mission Adventure Trip Schedule and register for the trip. AMG will then approve your registration, and you will receive an email explaining how to upload the documents needed for the trip. You will be able to pay more toward your trip from the same page where you upload documents. Upon uploading all documents and paying the rest of your trip balance, the registration process will be complete.

What is an Online Missions Profile and do I have to make one every time I register?

An Online Missions Profile (OMP) serves as your application for a trip and contains personal information such as contact information, your personal testimony, passport information, etc. You only have to complete an OMP once; after that the OMP can be updated at any time. With second and subsequent trip registrations, you can simply check to make sure all of your information is current.

How do I upload my documents for the trip?

Log in to your account and click "Account". Under the "Mission Adventures" heading, click "Your Enrolled Trips." There you will see the trips that you are registered for and where to upload your documents. Download the documents needed by clicking the blue text, complete the documents, scan them to your computer, then use the "Submit Now" buttons to upload your documents.

What do I do if I have applied for my passport but have not received it yet?

You can still begin the registration process for a Mission Adventure, even if have applied for but have not yet received your passport. On your Online Missions Profile under "Update Your Primary Information," check "I Have Applied for My Passport and Have Not Received It Back." When you do receive your passport, you will need to go back and update your Online Missions Profile with your passport information. If you are considering going on a Mission Adventure and do not have a passport, be sure to apply for your passport well in advance of the registration deadline of your chosen trip. Also, if your passport expires within the next 6 months, you will need to renew your passport before registering for a trip.

How do I pay more towards the rest of my remaining balance for the trip?

Log in to your account and click "Account". Under the "Mission Adventures" heading, click "Your Enrolled Trips." There you will see the trips that you are registered for and the button to pay more toward your trip.

How do I share my trip on Social Media?

To share a trip on Social Media, go to AMG's Home Page and go to "Click Here to see all AMG Countries, Sponsorship & Support Opportunities." Use the "Narrow By" tool to the left to find your trip. Open the trip page you are looking for and use the Social Media icons on the trip page to share the trip with your friends and family.

What if my church/school/group is paying for my deposit?

During the process of registration, you will be asked to choose between the options of paying for your deposit or of notifying AMG that your church/school/group is paying for your deposit. Type the name of your church/school/group in the text box when completing the next step of registration.

I am a Report Designee. How do I access my reports?

Log in on the website and then click "Account". Under Mission Adventures, click "View Trip Reports." This will allow you to see applicant information including Registration Status and which documents team members have submitted to AMG.

I cannot log in to the website!

Most likely, you are typing in the wrong password. To reset your password, click "I Forgot My Password" on the login screen. Type in your email and then click "Reset Password." You will be sent an email with a link to reset your password. It is also possible that you are attempting to log in with an email address other than the one that was used to create the account. If you do not remember the email address associated with the website account, please give us a call at 800.251.7206.

A section of my Online Missions Profile will not save!

The pencil icons beside each section indicate whether a section has been completed or not. If there is a + sign beside a section, that section is not complete and needs more information. When you attempt to save that particular section, anything that needs to be corrected will be highlighted in red.

My trip registration has been declined!

If you see that your trip registration has been declined, this can mean that your Online Mission Profile is lacking important information or contains obvious errors OR that you have registered for a trip for which you do not qualify. You will receive a follow-up email that will give you further instructions or explain why your registration has been denied.

I have been approved for my trip but I am not sure what to do next!

Once you receive the approval email notification, log in to the website and click "Account." Under the "Mission Adventures" heading, click "Your Enrolled Trips." This page contains the next steps in the registration process, which are to upload your documents and pay the remaining balance for your trip.

I cannot scan or upload my documents! Is there another way to send them to AMG?

If you are not able to upload your documents, the second option is to mail the documents to our Home Office in Chattanooga, TN. Send your document copies to AMG International, ATTN: Mission Adventures, P.O. Box 182200, Chattanooga, TN 37422.

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